Corgi caramel and chocolate tarts

These tarts were my second entry to the Western Morning News cake competition, along with the coconut, blackberry and raspberry crown cupcakes.

I knew I wanted to do something with chocolate corgis, and the rest of the concept for the tarts came from there.

They have a triple chocolate hit, with chocolate pastry, chocolate mousse and chocolate ganache, as well as a layer of caramel which make them really over-the-top-indulgent, but in a good way!

I adapted bits from various other recipes I’ve made, using the pastry from the chocolate and pear crostata, mousse and ganache from the chocolate truffle pie, and caramel from my not very successful home made Twix bars.

The corgis I made using the same white candy melts as the crowns on the cupcakes, with a bit of milk chocolate added in for the brown patches and black food colouring for the eyes and noses.

These went down really well at the competition – everyone loved the corgis and Becky, the newspaper’s food editor, described cutting into them and the caramel oozing out as ‘like something from an M&S advert’ – high praise indeed!

All the separate elements of these are relatively simple, but they do take a bit of time to pull together – worth it though for the reaction they got!

Corgi caramel and chocolate tarts

Makes 10 tarts

For the chocolate pastry:

  • 55g butter
  • 115g plain flour
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 55g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg

Add all the ingredients apart from the egg into a food processor and pulse until the mixture forms fine breadcrumbs. Add in the egg and blitz until it comes together into a ball. Chill for half an hour to firm up, then divide into 10 equally sized pieces. Lightly dust your worktop with cocoa powder, then roll each piece out into a circle approximately 4″ in diameter, then press into a silicon cupcake case (paper cases might work, but I imagine the pastry would be a lot more likely to get stuck). Bake the cases at 180 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until just crisp, then leave to cool on a wire rack.

For the caramel:

  • 200g caster sugar
  • 90ml water
  • 60g butter
  • 60ml double cream

Heat the sugar and water in a large saucepan over a medium heat, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and simmer without stirring until it turns a golden amber colour – I think this took about 5 minutes but you need to keep a close eye on it. As soon as it’s ready, remove from the heat, tip in the butter and cream, and whisk furiously until it comes together as a delicious liquid caramel. Pour into a jug and leave to cool before pouring a little into the base of each pastry case, then chill in the fridge. This will make more caramel than you need, but I’m sure you can find a use for the leftovers!

For the chocolate mousse:

  • 85g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 185ml double cream

Melt the chocolate with a third of the cream, then set aside to cool. Whisk the remaining two thirds of the cream until soft peaks form, then fold in the chocolate mixture (but not until it’s completely cool!) Divide between the tart cases, spooning on top of the caramel, then return to the fridge to set.

For the chocolate ganache:

  • 50g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 60ml double cream

Heat the cream until almost boiling, then pour onto the chopped chocolate. Leave for a minute, then stir until all the chocolate has melted. Leave for 20 minutes or so – it needs to have cooled down but still be pourable. Pour on top of the chocolate mousse and spread to the edges.

For the chocolate corgis:

  • 50g white candy melts
  • 10g milk chocolate
  • black food colouring gel

Trace the outline of a corgi onto a piece of white paper 10 times, then lay a piece of baking paper over the top. Heat the candy melts until melted, then pipe on to the baking paper to completely fill the corgi outlines. Add the milk chocolate to the leftover white melts and re-heat until melted and stir together. Pipe on top of the white outlines for the brown patches of fur. Finally, use a cocktail stick to add little blobs of the food colouring for the eyes and noses and leave to set. Place the corgis on top of tarts before the ganache has completely set, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

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